This is always a problem for librarians. We try donating our unwanted books to charity shops or holding book drives but sadly our attempts are not always very successful! They still pile up! However, there are a number of companies who offer libraries a completely free service to recycle or dispose of their unwanted books and some even sell what they can to raise funds for various charities. Unfortunately due to logistical problems and rising costs some of these companies have recently had to review and even withdraw their services. Better World Books for example are now wanting librarians to scan all their unwanted books first to see if they will be acceptable and I don’t really think any of us has the time to do that! So if you have used one such company in the past it may still be worth contacting them again, but some we have found are not taking on new customers at present. We are hoping the situation will improve over time.
Some of the book disposal and recycling companies LIPSSEE members have used successfully in the past are listed below:
Anybook – just box up your unwanted books and fill in the form on their website to arrange a pickup
Bookrescuers – this company prefers to collect a minimum of 30 boxes but will provide these for you
Recycle2School – (Tel. no. 0800 7819 887) mainly provides a free collection of unwanted clothes but unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and video games are now also included. Pupils can also bring in any unwanted books from home. They will collect all books regardless of their condition and no amount is too big or too small. They are a sister company of Choice Textiles (Park Royal, London) who also run the Book Savers and Books for Africa initiatives – contact details are on their website.
World of Books – collection is free and no amount is too big! The company have a very environmental ethos about reusing or recycling the books, so you know each book will go to the right place.
Several other organisations have been suggested but as they are charities themselves their collection services are not always free! These include:
School Aid: donations can be delivered to any of the country-wide Entertainer Group of Toy Shops across the UK (the website provides a map of their locations and how to arrange drop off). If you would like School Aid to collect larger items or if you live too far from the locations mentioned above then they may be able to collect in a van. If you would like your donation to be collected by them they will ask for a contribution to the cost of fuel of 45p/mile
Books2Africa: Book a collection online to have UPS collect donated items from your address at the cost of £7 a box, or you can deliver them to their Donation Point in Dover
Quite often local charity shops such as Oxfam, Lions or the British Red Cross have shops that are book-specific and they have never been known to refuse a donation! Burgess Hill, Billingshurst, Reigate and Sevenoaks are all towns in our area that support such shops. It has also been suggested that any books in good condition may also be donated to your local state primary school
If all else fails why not build yourself a book house like this one: http://inhabitat.com/incredible-house-sculpture-made-from-hundreds-of-recycled-books-by-cardiffmiller/
(Last updated by Denise Reed on 19 May 2016)